Recurrence Rate and Pattern of Perihilar Cholangiocarcinoma after Curative Intent Resection.

Conference Paper


The aim of this study was to investigate the rate and pattern of recurrence after curative intent resection of perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (PHC).

Study design

Patients were included from 2 prospectively maintained databases. Recurrences were categorized by site. Time to recurrence and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to identify independent poor prognostic factors.


Between 1991 and 2012, 306 consecutive patients met inclusion criteria. Median overall survival was 40 months. A recurrence was diagnosed in 177 patients (58%). An initial local recurrence was found in 26% of patients: liver hilum (11%), hepaticojejunostomy (8%), liver resection margin (8%), or distal bile duct remnant (2%). An initial distant recurrence was observed in 40% of patients: retroperitoneal lymph nodes (14%), intrahepatic away from the resection margin (13%), peritoneum (12%), and lungs (8%). Only 18% of patients had an isolated initial local recurrence. The estimated overall recurrence rate was 76% at 8 years. After a recurrence-free period of 5 years, 28% of patients developed a recurrence in the next 3 years. Median RFS was 26 months. Independent prognostic factors for RFS were resection margin, lymph node status, and tumor differentiation. Only node-positive PHC precluded RFS beyond 7 years.


Perihilar cholangiocarcinoma will recur in most patients (76%) after resection, emphasizing the need for better adjuvant strategies. The high recurrence rate of up to 8 years justifies prolonged surveillance. Only patients with an isolated initial local recurrence (18%) may have benefited from a more extensive resection or liver transplantation. Node-positive PHC appears incurable.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Groot Koerkamp, B; Wiggers, JK; Allen, PJ; Besselink, MG; Blumgart, LH; Busch, ORC; Coelen, RJ; D'Angelica, MI; DeMatteo, RP; Gouma, DJ; Kingham, TP; Jarnagin, WR; van Gulik, TM

Published Date

  • December 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 221 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1041 - 1049

PubMed ID

  • 26454735

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4736142

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1190

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1072-7515

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2015.09.005